Economy, Domestic Economy

Trade With Turkmens to Reach $1b

Trade With Turkmens to Reach $1bTrade With Turkmens to Reach $1b

The value of trade between Iran and Turkmenistan has increased by 20% over the past two years, deputy minister of mine, industry and commerce, Mojtaba Khosrowtaj, said on Saturday, expressing hope that Turkmenistan would be Iran’s first trading partner in the upcoming year (starting March21), IRNA reported.

“Iran is Turkmenistan’s main trading partner as the value of bilateral trade has reached $1 billion excluding gas and oil,” he said in the inauguration ceremony of Iran’s 10th exclusive industrial and trade exhibition in Turkmenistan.

The three-day exhibition ended in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on February 27.

Iranian companies showcased various commodities in the expo, ranging from building materials and agricultural products to cosmetics and clothing accessories.

“Cement industry, seamless tube, bitumen industry and gas power plants are among the areas in which   the two countries can cooperate with each other,” Khosrowtaj said, referring to the fair in Ashgabat as an example that displays “technical and engineering competencies of the Iranian companies.”

Calling for decreased customs duties and expansion of banking exchanges, he said: “These are the major steps that can help boost bilateral ties.”

 Railway Trade to Triple  

Meanwhile, Tehran and Ashgabat have agreed to increase the volume of trade exchanges via railway transportation to 10 million metric tons from the current 3 million tons, Iranian Road and Urban Development Minister, Abbas Akhoundi, said on Saturday.

“Both Iran and Turkmenistan are determined to increase the level of bilateral trade,” Akhoundi was quoted by Mehr news agency as saying, while addressing a joint Iran-Turkmenistan trade conference held in the Turkmen capital city of  Ashgabat.

He pointed to the two countries’ capacities for the expansion of economic and trade ties, saying: “500 trucks are carrying goods from Iran’s borders to Ashgabat every day. The number of trucks is going to double to reach 1,000 per day as agreed upon by both sides.”

Speaking at the event, deputy minister of economy and development of Turkmenistan, Serdar Atayev, said that nearly 147 Iranian companies are operating in Turkmenistan and a total number of 88 projects valued at $1.3 billion are being implemented by Iranian companies.

Enhancement of relations with Muslim nations, specially the neighboring countries, is on top of Iran’s foreign policy agenda. Iran was among the first countries to recognize Turkmenistan’s independence in 1991. Since then, Iranian and Turkmen officials have sought to boost mutual cooperation.